1. Alex Raymond (1909 – 1956)

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    Alexander Gillespie Raymond was born in New Rochelle, New York. An American cartoonist, best known for creating Flash Gordon. He is the definitive “artist’s artist”, with a host of admirers as well as impersonators. Most of comic leading figures have singled out Mr Raymond as significant influence on their work, include Jack Kirby, Bob Kane, John Buscema, Joe Kubert, John Romita Jr. and Alex Toth. With many, many others, it’s probably easier to list the artist whom have not been influenced by Mr Raymond’s work.

    Alex Raymond showed an early interest in illustration and was encouraged by his father. After graduating from the Grand Central School of Art in New York City he went on to become an assistant illustrator on strips such as Tillie the Toiler and Tim Tyler’s Luck.

    In a space of 20 years he created and worked on multiple titles across a range of genres. In 1933, Mr Raymond created the science-fiction comic hero Flash Gordon. Before long it had become more popular than it’s competitor, Buck Rogers. In 1946 he created the detective strip Rip Kirby. Another huge hit running for over 50 years, until 1999.

    In 1956, Mr Raymond died in a car crash at the age of 46. Herald during his life, he was awarded the Reuben Award from the National Cartoonists Society and was posthumously inducted into both the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame and Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame.

    Fellow comic artist, Dave Sims started a series, way back in 2008, called The Strange Death Of Alex Raymond. It is currently unfinished, so Mr Sims has turned to Patreon for help to complete it.

    You can find much of Alex Raymond’s work around the web, but if you want to invest in a couple of his books I strongly recommend Alex Raymond: His Life and Art (if you find it at a good price) and IDW’s Rip Kirby’s reprints.